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Thread: Skimming conversation

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    Skimming conversation

    With all the skimmer testing and so on going on I thought it would be good to talk a little bit about what we are looking for in a skimmer and how the different types of skimmers try to achieve that goal. I think it might help folks get some understanding of what makes them work and the pros and cons .

    So here is a couple of questions, What size bubbles are you looking for?? and what amount of air injected into the skimmer


    Mike
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    dave the gobie

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    heres a question ? lets say I want to put up a 120 combo reef tank w/ heavy bio load. which would be best with out going over kill. down draft , venturi, or asperated? and it would have to be external.

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    Copepod

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    Mike, Ill continue the conversation. I always thought that you are looking for a milky color in the foam column, not a grey color. Also bubble size is important, My skimmer produces bubbles that might be 3-4mm a bit smaller than a 'BB'.

    I am also under the impression that more air infected to the water the more better right? maybe thats not the case, should we adjust the airflow in the water to get a dryer foam?
    120 gallon display, 100 gallon sump, GEO Calcium Reactor, Aqua C EV-400 Skimmer powered by an Iwaki 55RLT, 300 pounds of Live Rock, Bare Bottom, dual 400 watt DE metal halide, dual Tunze 6080s

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    Hermit Crab

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    This is my thoughts... If i have a heavy bio-load tank, im looking for a skimmer that can keep up with my needs. Of course, i would like to see a lots of foam production or skimate (wet, dry or whatever suites me). I think its all about how you want to achieve your goal. There's alot of great skimmers out there and all of them have good and not so good reps. My thoughts =).

    reeffan
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    120 gallon Reefready tank with DIY Calcium reactor and protein skimmer, 30 gallon sump (not DIY).

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    thier are pros and cons to all skimmers for sure, example arguements would be stuff like beckett style are to violent and distroy alot of the bubbles they create, but but go through such a high volume it makes up for it. Airstone skimmer are the best for bubble production with out the violence but require alot of maintence to clean the clogging stones. Venturis are close to airstones in regards to bubble violence, they dont have the airstone replacement but the venturis muc be clean.

    Chris those are good questions. Smaller bubbles means easier disolving rate (DO) and allows for more surface area to carry organics and such. For color I am not sure. The ammount of air being injected into the water will hit a point of saturation in the skimmer itself, from thier it will off gas. I think that would be more of a tank DO level question though. Wet or dry skimming are concepts, some folks (me included) like to run wet so we can get larger particle out of the water, some folks like to run dry so they get a more concintrated skimmate and dont lose as much water.


    Mike
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    How do you really know your skimmer is doing its job. For example, you go out buy a new $500 skimmer and its skimming away doing what appears to be a good job. Lots of foam and funky skimmate. Your system appears clean and healthy. Then the skimmer company comes out with an improved model so you rush out and buy the thing. Sure thing it out performs the previous model.
    Where does this stop? How can you tell right away that the skimmer you picked is actually doing enough?

    Don

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    Copepod

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    Quote Originally Posted by DonW
    Then the skimmer company comes out with an improved model so you rush out and buy the thing. Sure thing it out performs the previous model.
    Where does this stop? How can you tell right away that the skimmer you picked is actually doing enough?

    Don
    just a question on how much you are willing to spend. Just like computers, not a whole lot of 286/386/486's around any more. (just got passed up by people looking to spend money on something faster, better and more upto date.) Skimmers will always evolve into something more effecient, but there will be a point you just cant physically pull out any more skimmate.
    We are close to that now. Now the big companies are just tweaking the current models.
    120 gallon display, 100 gallon sump, GEO Calcium Reactor, Aqua C EV-400 Skimmer powered by an Iwaki 55RLT, 300 pounds of Live Rock, Bare Bottom, dual 400 watt DE metal halide, dual Tunze 6080s

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    dave the gobie

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    wouldn't mfg's claims be all opioin's is there any real way of telling weather some thing is what its says it is. I had a 4' tall skimmer with a mazi injector on itwhen you raised the water level foam went away lower thewater level and foam like no tomarrow but it would never reach the collection cup(life reef vs2-48 cost 450) had a diffrent problem with a U.S. aquarium model20 worked great except once in a while it would go crazy usuall when i was at work and over foamthe collection cup and drain out the top 1/3 of my 55 gallon tank. this happened 3 times before I threw it out. nothiong worse than comming home to nice wet floors.the only two that I've never had any problems with is the Sea Clone (first style with tee injector) on my hospital tank and my Reef Devil.

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    Apolemichthys xanthopunct
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    One of my biggest disappoints with today's skimmers is "ease of adjustment". There is a learning curve to where you adjust the riser tube (or gate valve, etc.) with every skimmer. When you take the skimmer out to clean it, you need to find the sweet spot again and the more you have had to fiddle with your skimmer, the more familiar you are with finding the right balance. When you are still getting familiar with the skimmer, this is still trial and error.

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    I dont want to start skimmer bashing. I just want to know when enough is enough. I can put a cpr back pack on my tank and it will skim like crazy. We can keep buying bigger. As we move the the ranks they all are going to skim. Is there a away to tell if you have enough skimmer?

    Don

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    Apolemichthys xanthopunct
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    Quote Originally Posted by DonW
    I dont want to start skimmer bashing. I just want to know when enough is enough. I can put a cpr back pack on my tank and it will skim like crazy. We can keep buying bigger. As we move the the ranks they all are going to skim. Is there a away to tell if you have enough skimmer?

    Don
    Don,

    After learning how to dial-in my ASM G2, I am very happy. It is more skimmer than I probably need on my 90g tank but I don't think it is excessive. Im not sure I will ever know that I have "enough" skimmer. I can only know that between the skimmer, water changes, carbon, etc., the water sparkles and the corals and fish are happy.

    Ted

  12. #12
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    IMO, the only way to tell if you have enough skimmer is from what your tank tells you.

    I run Beckett skimmers now and i'm very happy with them. The only other skimmers i've ran were Bak Paks and they constantly needed to be cleaned and never really did perform that well. Comparing a bak pak to a beckett skimmer is like comparing a yugo to the space shuttle, but since upgrading to a beckett I no longer have algea issues in a heavily bio-loaded tank. Unless I really stir up the sand then there is some cyano to deal with.

    I've never understood how a company can rate what size system a skimmer can handle. Seeing as we really don't know what the skimmers are pulling out exactley, I don't understand how they can rate them. Anyone know what data they use to rate a skimmer for what size system?

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    dave the gobie

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    I aplogize if you thought I was skimmer bashing. I was just giving some examples of the types of skimmers i've used and the trials I've had with these skimmers.I wouldn't doubt that some of the problem was due to operater error. I'm learnining a lot of stuff as we go along on these discussions.

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    I am glad this has generated some interest.

    Gobie Manufactures always make claims. I guess that is one of the good reasons for this skim off and input on boards such as this one.

    Don your question is open more to individuals concepts on keeping a reef. Thier are folks that dont believe in skimmers at all, others like me that believe the more the better. For me skimming is the back bone of my filtration system, so i rely on it for removing not only disolved but also particulate matter. So go baby go.

    I've never understood how a company can rate what size system a skimmer can handle. Seeing as we really don't know what the skimmers are pulling out exactley, I don't understand how they can rate them. Anyone know what data they use to rate a skimmer for what size system?
    Dead on. All they can do is give you a general guideline to go by.

    Mike
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    dave the gobie

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    the skimm off that is going on it seems to be only large skimmers are there any smaller skimmers going into this competition? and if no why. the size of the model shouldn't determin the efficency of skimmer. i bet there has to be some efficent small skimmersout there.

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